Soft Maple is about 25% softer than Hard Maple, otherwise in most respects it is very similar to Hard Maple. Soft Maple has a grayish white sapwood, sometimes with darker colored pith flecks. The heartwood varies from a light to dark reddish/silvery brown. The natural color range is allowed with some variation between doors. Soft Maple is often used as a substitute for Hard Maple or stained to resemble other species such as Cherry.